Friday, September 21, 2012

Find: Build apps for elections with the Google Civic Information API

Google Code Blog Build apps for elections with the Google Civic Information API

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By Chetan Sabnis, Google Politics & Elections Team

Cross-posted from the Google Politics & Elections Blog

Google’s mission is to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful. To make it easier for you to build apps with voting information on the web, we are releasing our new Google Civic Information API. The API enables you to look up comprehensive voting information for an individual U.S. address, including polling place, early vote sites, contests, and local election official contact information. By releasing this API, we hope to unleash the creativity of the Internet and help you build innovative products that push civic information to your communities in interesting ways.

As you know, this type of information can change frequently as we get closer to Election Day, and we will make every effort to ensure we're returning timely and accurate data. We have also included contact information for local election officials in the API so voters can find the most accurate information.


While this API only includes voting information for elections in the U.S., we plan to expand to other countries and include other types of civic information. Please join the Google Civic Information API Forum for updates on the data available and check out the Google Politics & Elections page to find more information about the work we are doing around the election and our international elections programs.

You can get started here through the Google APIs Explorer. The API is available now, but please note that full information isn't yet available for the November 6th General Election. We expect to be able to provide full live data around the middle of October, as it becomes available. For now, we recommend building your applications using the test data we provide. We'll be using the API to power our own election tools over the coming weeks, including an embeddable app anyone can use on their site, and we're looking forward to seeing the applications you come up with!

The Civic Information API replaces our previous Google Election Center API, which will be turned down after January 1, 2013.

For questions, comments, and to showcase your apps using the API, we encourage you to use the Google Civic Information API Forum.

Chetan Sabnis is a software engineer on the Google Politics & Elections team. In his spare time, Chetan enjoys solving logic puzzles and crosswords.

Posted by Scott Knaster, Editor